When a Texas court deliberates on a child custody issue, the most important factors considered are the well-being and best interests of the child. Texas law follows a variety of guidelines when examining a case. These statutes guide the court in determining what factors are involved in determining best interests.
In Texas, it may be possible for a custodial parent to move out of state with his or her child. However, the other parent may need to provide consent before the move is made. Additionally, both parents may need to agree to a revised visitation schedule, which may need to be approved by a judge. Courts will consider a variety of factors before deciding whether to allow the move if the noncustodial parent objects.
Child custody disputes are difficult for most parents, but when one parent takes a child from Texas and relocates to another country or fails to return the child from a foreign country following a visit, the situation can be devastating. In order to combat this type of problem, the U.S. along with many other countries has ratified a treaty known as the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.
Texas family code holds the maintenance of best interests of the child to be the primary goal of all decisions made by the court. They will consider all factors placed before them and attempt make a decision that places the child in the most stable, secure and nurturing environment available to them.
Although there may be a blood relationship between grandparents and their grandchildren, it is important to understand that the rights of grandparents are limited with regard to visitation. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that parents' rights are protected in making decisions about their children. However, this does not extend to other interested family members who may want to be involved in the life of a child.
For many families, the most important aspect of the parenting plan may be the custody agreement. The typical custody arrangement most parents are familiar with is called standard possession. These agreements are usually ideal for parents who do not live in close enough proximity to the child's school.
In the view of Texas courts handling family law matters, allowing a child to develop and maintain good relationships with both parents is considered to be in the child's best interests in most circumstances. When divorcing parents are unable to agree on visitation matters, a judge will grant the noncustodial parent those rights according to a standard possession schedule established by the legislature.
Parents in Texas may benefit from learning more about the laws concerning parenting plans and child custody, as described by the State Bar of Texas. A parenting plan consists of child support, rights to custody, a visitation schedule and other matters involving the child in an effort to minimize disputes. Parenting plans became a required part of the state's final divorce decree in the year 2005. Courts presiding over a divorce proceeding also have the authority to provide adjudication regarding custody rights after the dissolution of the marriage.
Many Texas couples may find it difficult to negotiate a child custody agreement during a divorce. In some cases, one parent may decide to abduct the child and take him or her out of the state or even the country if the case is not going the way that he or she planned or if he or she wishes to hurt the other parent. If there is a risk of international abduction, the court has the authority to reduce the risk by putting certain preventative measures into place.
A Texas girl who was kidnapped by her mother in April 2002 was located in Mexico on Sept. 30. Two years before her disappearance, the girl's parents had finalized a divorce settlement in which the girl's father was granted full child custody. The girl's mother was reportedly spending a weekend with her 4-year-old daughter when the two of them went missing.